Friday, July 3, 2015

Flyers top Jets, 2-1, on Black Friday

Gallery: Flyers 2, Jets 1

The Flyers, who played as if they were sleepwalking during two losses earlier this week in Florida, returned home briefly, and were spry from the beginning before hanging on at the end during a rare morning start. 

Scott Hartnell scored 48 seconds into the game and Sean Couturier added a second-period shorthanded goal as the Flyers defeated the Winnipeg Jets, 2-1, in a game that had an 11:38 a.m. start time Friday at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers (11-12-2) now begin the first of six consecutive road games on Saturday in Nashville. Winnipeg (12-12-4) saw its two-game road win streak snapped.

This was a much different-looking Flyers team than the one that lost by 3-1 Monday at Florida and 4-2 on Wednesday in Tampa Bay.

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  • "Our Florida effort was terrible, both games," said Flyers goalie Steve Mason, who enjoyed another outstanding game in making 25 saves. "We were pretty lackluster, so coming home and getting a big win before we go on the road for 13 days here is definitely a step in the right direction; just make sure that we carry through now." 

    Hartnell set the tone by scoring his fifth goal, from the high slot. Steve Downie, in front of the net, appeared to feed Hartnell, but was given no assist. It was ruled that Hartnell got the puck off the skate of a Winnipeg player, but it was Downie who battled the Jets' Dustin Byfuglien for the puck that found its way to Hartnell.

    "It's nice, your first shift just going right in the slot and there's a nice little present waiting for you there," Hartnell said. "I'll take it."

    He said the Flyers needed a big start after the previous two games.

    "We got the crowd into it, which is awesome," Hartnell said.

    Couturier was stopped on a first-period shorthanded breakaway by goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who just slid his pad on a shot the Flyers center tried to stuff at the left post.

    During a similar shorthanded situation in the second period, Couturier converted a breakaway after making a steal. The goal, which came with 14 minutes, 24 seconds left in the second period, was Couturier's second of the season. 

    Couturier said he wasn't thinking of his first breakaway chance before converting the second.

    "The first time he did a good save and he was quick at getting that pad out," Couturier said. "The second time I tried to put it in the five-hole, and it found a way to trickle back there."

    The Flyers came out with high energy, and even though they dominated play, led by just 1-0 after the first period. In the opening 20 minutes the Flyers outshot the Jets, 13-2.

    Still, the Flyers didn't capitalize on several chances. They began the second period with a five-on-three advantage for the first 1:25 and got just one shot off.

    The Flyers were 0 for 4 on the power play and snapped a streak of eight consecutive games of scoring a power-play goal. 

    Conversely, the Flyers shut Winnipeg down on the power play. The Jets were 0 for 6 and Couturier was a major reason. 

    "I thought our defensemen were blocking shots and was really impressed with Coots' effort," Mason said in referring to Couturier and the Flyers penalty-killing effort. 

    The Flyers didn't have the same energy in the third period and Winnipeg cut the lead to 2-1 when Michael Frolik scored his seventh goal on a scramble in front of the net with 7:07 remaining. 

    After that, the Flyers withstood some late pressure to earn the win before heading back to the road.

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